Urgent: Must fix or wife says dog must go - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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Urgent: Must fix or wife says dog must go


Our 12-month old female GSD (Raven) has attacked our 12-year old female Australian Shepherd (Daisy) one too many times, and we are on the verge of getting rid of the GSD.

The GSD is limited to the kitchen, with her kennel in the doorway that used to be our dining room. The kitchen is where most activity in the house is, anyway, and when we are in the living room, she can sit in that doorway and still see/hear everything. So, she doesn't miss out on much.

When we got Daisy as a pup, she also was restricted to the kitchen until she was about two years old, then we gave her freedom for the kitchen and living room (we trusted her not to destroy anything by that time, and she never did).

The kitchen has a door to the backyard, so when it is time to go out to play or potty, both dogs go out that way. The huge water bowl is also in the kitchen, so both dogs drink there. Raven's food bowl is in her kennel, while Daisy's is in the living room. Both dogs often lay down together in the kitchen peacefully and both play well outside (Daisy isn't very active at her age, and Raven is very, very high energy).

The problem is that Raven has attacked Daisy several times, though always in the kitchen (or when they are both entering the kitchen from the backyard). Daisy, at her age and half the size of Raven, is defenseless. It has happened 8 or 9 times, with increasing frequency. My wife LOVES Daisy and is sobbing over this last attack, wanting me to get rid of Raven.

My hypothesis is that Raven views the kitchen as HER territory and is establishing her dominance of that area over Daisy. As they never have a problem anyplace else, this makes sense to me. But, I am no expert, so might be very wrong. I also have no idea how to fix the behavior.

What is the solution to this? If we don't fix it immediately, Raven will be looking for a new home.

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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 10:32 AM
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Females will fight. GSD females especially. A younger female will displace an older one.

A very simple solution make take a few extra steps. When Daisy and Raven are going out...CRATE OR LEASH Raven and they go in and out one at a time - don't give her the opportunity to attack Daisy! Since Raven is not allowed in other areas, this seems to be a very easy method of controlling the situation. I would not be surprised though, if at some point, there are squabbles in the back yard if they are together. You have to have control of Raven and let her know with stern direction that Daisy is NOT to be dominated or attacked.


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Last edited by wolfstraum; 08-14-2014 at 10:34 AM.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 10:34 AM
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I'd separate for now and work on it.

my dog fights with my cat which was my fault for not introducing correctly. so he's on leash outside my room.

you probably messed up somewhere along the way as well.
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 11:04 AM
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Get a trainer. You have female on female aggression. Sounds like you have a guarding issue. Is the Aussie older?

I live with this. It's not easy. Crate and rotate. Raven is never allowed to be loose with Daisy. EVER. You put one in a crate (or room) and let the other one out. Up your obedience with Raven. She needs to have stellar obedience.

Every time Raven makes contact with Daisy she is gaining confidence. It will only escalate without professional help.

Where do you live? Maybe someone can recommend a trainer.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 11:50 AM
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Raven is a young adult female and she is taking on the other bitch, because females will fight. Spaying will not help this, save only if it is only happening prior or during heat cycles -- remove the cycle.

But a lot of times, bitches just don't get along. Keeping them separated is the best advice. When you let daisy go through the kitchen to go out, first crate Raven.

Do not expect them to share the water -- usually this isn't a problem, but it requires both to have access to the same area.

Bitch fights are no fun, and if you haven't had blood yet, they will get worse if you do not manage it.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 11:57 AM
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like they all said
train raven and keep her away at all times from daisy
a two bitch household is no fun to be in when one has decided the other must die
and it will come to that btw
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 01:41 PM
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Crate and rotate is the only answer. Even if you think you can train Raven to not attack you still need to be on constant vigil because Raven will try to dominate even with training. In the end I had to separate Raina and Pyrate because somehow she knew he was weaker but he still would not back down. I didn't want Pyrate to be hurt so I made crate and rotate a way of life for a year or so because that was Pyrate's last. When Raina was a pup she respected Pyrate because he was older, bigger, and here first but as she got older and he got weaker it became something of a contest between them. I didn't want to take the chance so separation worked for them.


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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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I am grateful to all those that responded. I am still at work and have a bit of trepidation about getting home in about 30 minutes, as my wife was *very* upset when calling me this morning about the latest attack on "her baby".

To the questions -- Raven is one year old (last weekend) and Daisy is 12 years old (3 weeks ago). Daisy is showing her age -- arthritis, difficulty getting up, etc. When Raven was a puppy, I think Daisy tried (a bit) to put Raven in her place, not realizing how quickly the tables would turn. Both dogs are spayed.

They really *do* get along outside or in the car (except in those rare cases where Raven is catching a toy and Daisy gets in her way accidentally -- there are some quick "snaps" when that happens). In fact, they tend to "herd" around the yard together and sometimes even play chase one another running around the trailer. It's just the kitchen.

I am concerned about the warnings given that this will not end well. I pulled my back badly three nights ago pulling Raven off of Daisy in a fight.

I appreciate the suggestions about a trainer, but when Raven was about 6 months old, I contacted some trainers (objective was to get her to heel off-leash) in the area and they were very expensive. One lady came to the house to "interview us" and wanted $450 to stay for 1.5 to 2 hours past the interview to teach me how to train Raven, or her regular program for $1500. That was rich for me, so I've trained her. I'm no expert of course, but I've trained other dogs for basic obedience, just never to the point of a good off-leash heel -- my ideal of a GSD companion. So, I took it on myself. She walks on leash well with me -- sits or downs on command, doesn't pull, etc. A+ obedient to come, knows the names of her toys and will bring whichever you ask of her. B+ on "stay", getting better. She's just higher-energy than my past GSDs or Daisy (Australian Shepherd) -- still quite a bit of puppy in her, but not *nearly* as quick to learn/obey as Daisy was.

I'm sure my wife and I will have a long talk tonight .... thanks again!!
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 07:30 PM
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Tough spot to be in, Nothing to add that others haven't and hopefully you'll find a workable solution, but should Raven attack again look at how to "wheelbarrow" her. There are other methods too, but this works well.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 08-14-2014, 08:06 PM
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I feel badly for this 12-year-old senior. That's an awful situation to be in toward the end of life. Maybe rehoming the young one to be an "only dog" isn't such a bad idea?
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